The Journal of Arthroplasty , Volume 34 , Issue 3 , 549 - 553

The Impact of Supplemental Intraoperative Air Decontamination on the Outcome of Total Joint Arthroplasty: A Pilot Analysis

Cook, Thomas M. et al.
Hip Knee


During the early era of arthroplasty, the concept of ultraclean operating room (OR) was introduced based on the principle that the number of airborne particles in the OR directly influences incidence of device-related infections. The hypothesis of this pilot study was that use of an innovative UV-C air decontamination technology would lead to a reduction in the incidence of periprosthetic joint infection (PJI) following total joint arthroplasty.


A retrospective, observational, surveillance study was conducted with a consecutive series of patients who underwent total joint arthroplasty (n = 496) between January 2016 and August 2017. All perioperative and postoperative care protocols were identical for both groups, only study variable was that in 231 arthroplasty patients (OR B), an innovative supplemental UV-C air decontamination technology was used, whereas in the remaining 265 patients, arthroplasty was performed with standard turbulent HVAC (OR A).


There was no significant difference between patient groups regarding age, body mass index, diabetes diagnosis, smoking status, length of surgery, or revision status. The rate of PJI was documented to be 1.9% in the turbulent air group, and no infections were documented in the cohorts operated under UV-C air decontamination, which was statistically significant (P < .044).


While PJI is multifactorial in nature, the present retrospective pilot study suggests that use of an intraoperative supplemental air decontamination significantly reduced the overall risk of PJI. The findings of this study are encouraging and should be examined in a larger-scale, prospective, multicenter study.

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